Bulletin

Tokelauan constables share Samoansí glory

In the Police constables graduation ceremony that took place on Friday, four policemen from Tokelau shared the limelight with their 60 Samoan colleagues. All of them had successfully completed a 16-week training course to prepare them for their new career. The graduation was honoured by the presence of the Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi; the Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati; and many colleagues, families and friends in the EFKS hall in Sogi, Apia.

Police Chief Commissioner Egon Lincoln Keil stated in his congratulatory speech that completing the course was no mean feat: of 419 applicants, 250 people had been shortlisted. Of these only 73 made the cut and 65 graduated in the end.

A moment silence was observed for one participant who had passed away during the course period. Of the new graduates, 46 were male and 19 were female. Each had their name called out, upon which they stepped forward and presented themselves to the audience.

The Tokelauan graduates numbered four men today. They are Fa’amaoni Reuelu and Ioane Nu’utuli (both from the atoll Atafu),  plus Falaniko Iosefa and Viliamu Ioapo (both from Nukunonu). In addition, the female constable Soteria Leitu (also from Atafu) had graduated the week before, see story on this website. Tokelau has now had 20 constables graduating with their Samoan colleagues over the years. One policewoman in Fakaofo is yet to complete her police training.
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Awaiting graduation: the 64 graduates waiting to be called up and step forward to present themselves to the public.

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The four Tokelau policemen who became constables today, from left to right: Falaniko Iosefa (from Nukunonu),  Ioane Nu’utuli (from Atafu),  Viliamu Ioapo (Nukunonu),   Fa’amaoni Reuelu (Atafu).
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Police Chief Commissioner Egon Keil (centre) welcoming the Samoa Prime Minister; the Minister of Police sitting in front of them. Meanwhile the graduates await their turn to step up.
Commissioner Keil said that the training of the policemen had focused on professionalism and accountability to the people, with an aim also to reduce the liability by the Governments of Samoa and Tokelau. The constables were now mentally and physically equipped for their role, and he urged them to be great Public Servants. “It takes guts to do what we do”, he said. “You will be judged by many, and challenged by a few as well. But I will always back you if you do the right thing,” Mr Keil said.
 
Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Police then handed out the best achievement awards to the top cops. While the ceremony had started with songs sung by the new graduates, it finished with them dancing a siva or two. Family and friends then showered them with gifts and leis. No doubt a few drinks were had later in the day: all perfectly within legal limits, of course!

Story and pictures by Jaap ("iapi") Jasperse.

 

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Left: The four Tokelau policemen who became constables today, from left to right: Falaniko Iosefa (from Nukunonu),  Ioane Nu’utuli (from Atafu),  Viliamu Ioapo (Nukunonu),   Fa’amaoni Reuelu (Atafu). In the centre is Ms Lise Suvinakama, Tokelau Judicial National Coordinator.
 
Right: The new Tokelau constables with family and friends.